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Alec Baldwin Was 'Drawing Gun and Pointing It on Camera' Moments Before Deadly Shooting

CC0 / / a revolver
a revolver - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.10.2021
The news comes as more information appears about the fatal incident on 21 October during the filming of the upcoming western "Rust". Baldwin injured director Joel Souza and cinematographer Halyna Hutchins with a prop gun, which was supposed to contain blank cartridges. Mrs Hutchins, 42, later died of her injuries.
Alec Baldwin was practicing drawing a revolver moments before the tragic shooting, US media outlets have reported, citing director Joel Souza's testimony in an affidavit released on 24 October. According to him, Baldwin was rehearsing the scene in a church, which involved pointing the firearm "towards the camera" when the gun suddenly went off. Mr Souza described the moment the revolver fired as a "whip and then loud pop".

His testimony sheds light on the tragic incident and provides an explanation as to how the events unfolded. Joel Souza, who was also wounded in the shooting, said after preparing for the scene the crew took a lunch break and then returned to the set, but specified that he was "not sure if the firearm was checked again".

He said the guns on the film set were checked by the armourer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, and then checked again by assistant director Dave Halls. Several armourers, who spoke with The New York Times, said there is a precise sequence on film sets about who gives firearms to actors, but one of the producers of "Rust", who wished to remain anonymous, told the outlet that both Mr Halls and Ms Gutierrez-Reed gave guns to actors.

Cameraman Reid Russell stated that Alec Baldwin had been "very careful" with the firearm in the previous scene and had tried to ensure safety on the set, making sure underage actors were not near him when he was firing the gun.

Director Joel Souza said that everyone on the film set got along and there were no altercations between crew members to his knowledge.

Inexperienced and Green Armourer?

The affidavit's release comes as two sources close to the production of "Rust" told the media that armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was acting unsafely during the filming of the movie. According to them, the 24-year-old reportedly gave a gun to a 11-year-old actor without properly checking it, with insiders describing the young woman as "inexperienced and green".
"There were a couple times she was loading the blanks and doing it in a fashion that we thought was unsafe. She was a bit careless with the guns, waving it around every now and again", one source told The Daily Beast.

Ms Gutierrez-Reed, daughter of an acclaimed Hollywood armourer, Thell Reed, herself feared she wasn't up for the job.

Another person who has been blamed for the tragic incident is assistant director Dave Halls. Per the affidavit, Halls shouted "cold gun", a term meaning that a firearm is safe to use in a scene, before giving the revolver to Baldwin. Sources told The Daily Beast, that the assistant director failed to double check the weapon.

"He's supposed to be our last line of defence and he failed us. He's the last person that's supposed to look at that firearm", insiders said.

Earlier, the US media reported that a week before the tragic accident Alec Baldwin's double fired two rounds from a prop firearm he was told was "cold". Reports also indicated that crew members used weapons for target practice using real bullets.

The fatal shooting claimed the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins who was wounded in the chest. Director Joel Souza said she stumbled backwards after a bullet hit her. Mrs Hutchins, 42, leaves behind a husband and a 9-year-old son.
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